Initially, Hoa Lo prison was designed and constructed to keep 500 prisoners, after that, to increase the capacity of keeping space, it was expanded gradually. And especially, this prison would imprison up to 2000 persons in the period of war from 1950 to 1953.
II - Stories about the Hanoi prison
1 - Life of prisoners
Source: Nick John
Male prisoners were locked in dark cells, locked in shackles. The female prisoners were more relaxed, without the handcuffs so they can take care of their children.
2 - Hanoi Hilton torture
3 - Fight for better treatment
One of the prominent struggles at Hoa Lo prison was the "Don't wear to fight for the right to wear" struggle. In the years 1942-1945, the prison guards made an excuse of economic hardship to minimize the meals and clothes of male prisoners. They only had one pair of pants, wore it every day, the pants became a shirt when it was cold, and also performed as a rag. To fight for their rights, the male prisoners got undressed, with the explanation to the guards that "There is only one pair of pants, nothing to wear when it is washed". On the third day, only when the Governor of Tonkin Jean Maurice came down to talk to the prisoners and expressed dissatisfaction with the prison guards, the male prisoners were given full clothes. This was just one of the many struggles for Vietnamese prisoners of war for better treatment.
4 - Escapes from the Hanoi Hoa Lo prison
Six years later, on Christmas Eve 1951, the infamous escape took place. 17 Vietnamese soldiers who were prisoners under death penalty, escaped through the sewers. However, only 5 of them were successful, the rest were captured.
III - Architecture of Hanoi Hilton prison
IV - How to visit Hoa Lo prison museum
1 - How to get to there
Visitors can get there by motorbike, taxi, or bus route 34, 38 (get off at 44B Ly Thuong Kiet), line 45 (get off at 59 Ly Thuong Kiet).
Cost: if riding a motorbike, the parking fee for motorbike in Hanoi prison memorial is 5,000 VND (~ 0.2 USD) / motorbike. If taking the bus, the fare is 7000 VND (0.3 USD)
2 - Hoa Lo prison entrance fee information
- Those who have 50% ticket price off: pupils, students, people with severe disabilities, the elderly, people under social policies.
- Free admission ticket: children under 15 years old, people with meritorious services to the revolution, people with extremely severe disabilities.
In 2019, Hoa Lo prison’s managers introduced the automated audio narration system with French and English language. This system is connected with headphones that help you lessen outside noise and get information clearly & effectively. The service may cost nearly 2$ per person.
3 - Opening hours information
Dresscode: polite outfit
4 - Places to visit near the Hanoi Hilton prison
Located at the address on December 19 street, Hoan Kiem district, about 250m from Melia Hanoi hotel. Hanoi Book Street has free entry and is a place where visitors can visit, take pictures and explore a variety of books from Vietnam and abroad.
- Quan Su Pagoda
Quan Su Pagoda is located at No.73 Quan Su Street, just over 100 meters from the Hoa Lo prison Hanoi Vietnam. Quan Su Pagoda is a spiritual place, welcomes many tourists from all over the world to visit and pray for peace every year.
- The Cathedral
St. Joseph's Cathedral is located at No.40 Nha Chung, 850m from the prison. With ancient and majestic French architecture, this is a favorite destination of many tourists, around which there are many cafes and delicious restaurants.
4 - Dining place near the Hanoi Hilton prison
- Banh beo at Do market: No.64A Quan Su (15,000 - 50,000 VND ~ 0.6 - 2 USD /helping)
- Namaste Hanoi- Indian cuisine: No.46 Tho Nhuom, Hoan Kiem District (100,000 - 300,000 VND ~ 4.5 USD - 13.5 USD/dish)
- Gong Cha Milk Tea: No.56 Ly Thuong Kiet, Hoan Kiem District (40,000 - 60,000 VND ~ 1.7 USD - 2.5 USD/glass)
- Cong Caphe: No.68 Quan Su, Hoan Kiem District (30,000 - 60,000 VND ~ 1.2 - 2.5 USD/cup of drink)
This is our suggest for a Hoa Lo prison tour:
Morning: visit the Hoa Lo prison and Quan Su pagoda
Noon: Have lunch with Banh Beo in Do Market No.64A Quan Su
Afternoon: Have fun at Hanoi book street, drink coffee and watch the street in Cong Caphe.
1 - How long was McCain in prison camp?
John McCain was imprisoned in Vietnam for 6 years, from 1967 to 1973
2 - What hotels are near Hoa Lo prison
Within a distance of 1 km from the prison, there are 6 hotels
-Somerset Grand Hanoi Hotel - 160m - 4,5 star
-Meliá Hanoi Hotel - 200m - 5 star
-Movenpick Hanoi Hotel - 350m - 5 star
3 - The online Hoa Lo Prison tickets are available?
Definitely yes, tourists can buy e-ticket via website http://hoalo.vn/Home/DangKy
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